Dr. John’s Grammar Quiz #24

Grammar Quiz #23 prompted an interesting response from Garrison, who said, “Nearly” isn’t a needed word. If somebody blew a foghorn that many times, sleeping will be impossible, guaranteed.” He’s right. Cut “nearly” (as Dr. John does with almost all adverbs). However, in his answer lies a clue to the real problem. The foghorn blew many times–off and on. “”Continuous” means something that goes on without any gaps in between. “Continual” means always occurring but with obvious lapses in time. The foghorn starts and stops, therefor, “continual” is the word we need.  (If the foghorn got stuck in the “boooooooooooooppp!” position, it would be “continuous.”)

Dr. John’s Grammar Quiz #24: Can you spot the glaring grammatical error in this sentence? “Envy was surely behind his attempts to get his girl friend’s handsome new assistant fired.”


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